While the world has grown accustomed to Abbotsford’s reaction to homeless camps taking the form of police raids, pepper spray and chicken manure, Saturday’s Gladys Road cleanup presented a different approach to the issue of dirty homeless camps in Abbotford.
Organized by The 5 and 2 Ministries and the Abbotsford Salvation Army, the Gladys Road cleanup was meant to clean up garbage and needles and generally help keep the camps in better shape than they have been allowed to exist in the past.
Camp cleanliness was used for years as an excuse to threaten abuse and forcibly move the homeless from spot to spot in the what has been dubbed The Abbotsford Shuffle.
It is a new approach and, despite the fact that the City of Abbotsford has kept its distance from the campaign, the City did provide trucks to help take the trash away.
The society being formed by Paul MacLeod and other interested citizens in order to deal with homeless issues in Abbotsford has been meeting regularly for three months and is reported to be making forward strides through the difficult process of bringing different viewpoints, beliefs and priorities together into effective action – something politicians and community leaders have been incapable of doing despite more than a decade of discussions, meetings and task forces.
*All Photos by Bas Stevens.
Bas is the owner and photographer at MonoPod Photography.
You can follow Bas on Facebook where he publishes many of his photos.
To see more of Bas’ photos on Abbotsford Today click here
To see Bas’ photos of the homeless during Moving Day On Gladys Avenue click here
Bas Stevens lives in downtown Abbotsford and shares the neighbourhood just as readily with his neighbours with homes as he does with the homeless, the drug addicted and others who are down on their luck.
Bas has a home and is known to most in the power structure in Abbotsford as a man who calls things as he sees them and is very involved in his community and the political process which guides it.
You can find him most Wednesday nights over at Jubilee Park during The 5 and 2 Ministries meal for the homeless. Failing that, you catch him either at Legal Grounds Coffee House chewing the ear off of a politician or giving as good as he gets over at O’Neill’s Home Cooking over on Gosling.
You stand a good chance of finding him Saturday mornings over at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and Saturday evenings back over at Jubilee Park.
Wherever he is Bas usually has his eyes and ears wide open. We’re proud to have him as a contributor and urge you to get to know him if you give a damn about Abbotsford. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who cares more than he does.